The ILO and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation together to promote quality apprenticeships

News | 16 October 2017
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and JPMorgan Chase Foundation have joined efforts and launched the Skills that Work Project: Improving the employability of low and middle-skilled workers in February 2017. The 18 month project aims to promote Quality Apprenticeships as an effective means to provide young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with labour market relevant skills, and exposure to the work environment. This project will help prepare them for well-paying jobs in growing industry sectors.

While the level of educational attainment has been rising globally in recent years, in many countries education and training systems are not adapting to skills needed in the labour market. The resulting mismatch puts upward pressure on unemployment rates with workers taking underqualified jobs and businesses facing critical skills shortages as they seek to expand. Unemployment affects youth almost three times more than adults. As such, it is crucial to put in place measures to improve the employability of young people.

Quality Apprenticeships are a unique form of technical vocational education and training, combining on-the-job training and off-the-job learning. The Skills that Work Project aims at improving the employability of low and middle-skilled workers, a vast majority of whom are young people, through Quality Apprenticeships. The project has three main objectives:

1. Increasing the knowledge of the national initiatives to promote Quality Apprenticeships in G20 countries;

2. Researching the non-marketable benefits of apprenticeships in South African enterprises to make them more attractive to employers;

3. Producing practical tools to formulate and implement apprenticeship programmes at the company-level.

The JP Morgan Chase Foundation is providing support for this project as part of its New Skills at Work programme, which aims to identify strategies and support data-driven solutions that help improve labour market infrastructure and develop the skilled workforce globally.